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Sremmlife 2 (7.3/10)

Two 90’s babies from Tupelo, Mississippi, Rae Sremmurd are two of the most unlikely young superstars in rap, who not only have dominated the radio scene the last few years but have also managed to become critically acclaimed at the same time. While it is relatively unusual that 35 year old white writers and editors for Complex think two teenagers with starter dreads and percocet raps is really all that uplifting (they ranked the debut album as the 3rd best album last year), they do put out fun party music that is to be appropriately enjoyed separate from pretending it’s anything worthy of praise. While it’s no indictment on the Sremmurds (what their name means is still a mystery to all of us), it’s undeniably concerning that the most notable critics in the genre will celebrate the content on this album without hesitation, while critiquing the likes of J Cole to the most thorough degree only to somehow arrive at negative conclusions (Cole has never finished Top 5 of any Complex, Pitchfork, Stereogum list, etc.).

Yet disregarding irresponsible journalism that has no basis whatsoever (other than reinforcing the stereotypical imagery of Hip Hop - apparently even glorified by the people who ‘represent’ it), the music is actually better than any Hip Hop purist would imagine, as these guys can definitely make good music that’s at least good for the vibe, evident in a handful of songs from their sophomore album critiqued in detail below:

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1) Start A Party

“She said ‘let me guess you a drug a dealer’ I said ‘nah, I just got a lot of money and a whole lot of drugs on me” Cool intro, not at all wack but nothing to write home about either, yet it’s strength is defining what this duo is good for in the first place - the party - nothing more nothing less - and if you’re into acting reckless while popping pills with a handful of women at your disposal - this song and this entire album is for you.

2) Real Chill ft Kodak Black

“I walk around with big steel, I’m still on the pills still, I spit that real shit, I call it real spill” true to form this song gets better with the amount of drugs you take, and if you don’t take drugs and you listen to this record more than once you are trying way too hard... it’s ok tho… be yourself... your hypebeast friends will still like you if you wear cool sneakers… but if you’re sober and you praise this song on the internet you’re a clown - end of story.

3) By Chance

“Need to see the Xan man, do you know him by chance? A ziploc full of Kush, are you plugged in, by chance?” See the critique above… same shit… yet for the record neither of those songs are that good, and the album doesn’t really pick up until the next record…

buy sremmlife 2 on iTunes now!

4) Look Alive

“Kill this cup, not my night, be the highlight of my night” produced by Mike Will Made It this song sounds EXACTLY like the No Type record that was a smash hit two summers ago, and that’s why this song jams… good record from the two young’ns from the mud, who when they’re on point actually make this genre of rap sound pretty good.

5) Black Beatles ft Gucci Mane

“I’m a fuckin black Beatle, cream seats in the Regal, rockin John Lennon lenses like to see em spread eagle” 2 decent records in a row… nothing incredible but this one is alright... can play it in the whip no problem… not mad at this one

6) Shake It Fast ft Juicy J

“Bitch shake that ass like I’m Too Short, and that bitch spending cash like it’s a new sport, I’m in the bitch blowing gas like it’s a new sport, ball so hard I need two courts” Hot garbage but it might ring off in the strip club… again tho if you play it in the whip and you’re over 25 you’re doin too much… no one believes you stop living your life for the gram

buy sremmlife 2 on iTunes now!

7) Set The Roof ft Lil Jon

“Two bad bitches swimming in my bed, off with their head, off with their head” Co-produced by super producers DJ Mustard and Mike Will Made It this song is not good by any means, but it’s also a perfectly fine Lil Jon record all the same - so this serves it’s purpose and I relatively like it’s inclusion on the album.

8) Came Along Way

“Came a long way from the Sip, living on the edge I don’t ever slip, strippers in my bed, bed tryna flip, tryna get that bread out the money clip.” One of the strongest records on the album, and for a moment it almost sounds like they’re actually talking about something… they’re not though smh… it’s the same exact subject matter but it’s cool though… still good music...

9) Now That I Know

“I shoulda listened to the homies, hit it then quit it and went about my fucking business, but I was fuckin with lil mama, that was my decision.” I fux with this… smooth record… good production from Mike Will Made It & Schooly but the Drake like melodies are actually the best part of the record, and the raps are actually perfect on here as well. Play this in the whip, the headphones, any club where they play good music, wherever, this is a perfect song and while swag rappers don’t last this duo just might have enough talent to stay around.

buy sremmlife 2 on iTunes now!

10) Take It Or Leave It

“I spill the cup for you, take it or leave it, I same some room for you, take it or leave it…” Another Mike Will Made It production (although he always has other names next to his - smh all these hype’d up artists and producers borrow their swag), but all the same this song is strictly about the vibes… and it’s fire and I can see this catching on.

11) Do Yoga

“All my girls do yoga, all my girls do yoga (hey), all my girls do yoga, all my girls do yoga (hey), then get high at night…” This one will definitely make an impact in the strip clubs… bet on it...

12) Over Here ft Bobo Swae

“Charlie Sheen is my cloooone, can they fuck with us? No, red carpet my hoooome, VIP my throne” yea… only if you pop pills… otherwise… SKIP!

buy sremmlife 2 on iTunes now!

13) Swang

“I know some ***** from the bottom, they’ll do anything for a dollar, I coulda went to school to be a doctor, but I dropped out and chose to be a baller” Decent production and a swazzy record but we need to see Swae Lee perform those high pitch bars live for the culture… need that...

14) Just Like Us

“Woke up faded still drunk from yesterday, last night was crazy, last night was wavy” Another Mike Will Made It (with someone else) instrumental, that is actually the last record on Sremmlife 2 and it’s arguably the best record on here - and one that doesn’t really sound like any of the rest.

Overall a decent album and at times an enjoyable listen, but if any journalist out there suggests this is some kind of divine intervention, they are influenced by likes and retweets and deserve no respect for their work. At the same time if any Okayplayer Hip Hop heads dismiss Rae Sremmurd altogether because they’re not Talib Kweli, they need to lighten up and get out more - because the summer’s not over yet and this album has enough good moments to play through the aux cord.

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